Two chairs meant to express gratitude toward veterans who did not make it back home have been added to the Riverside Veterans Wall of Honor display. The organizations that made the chair dedication possible are Rolling Thunder and American Legion Post 336 of Painesville.
The small committee of dedicated teachers, administrators and community liaison volunteers who founded the wall in 2018 intended it to be in perpetuity and committed to expansion. Fundraisers were held to create the Wall of Honor near the RHS stadium, establish a kiosk in the high school lobby, and, most recently, obtain the two chairs as reminders of the sacrifices our service men and women made.
Rolling Thunder is a national organization that helps bring awareness to the American public about our service people lost during all wars. The mission statement emphasizes the importance of Americans understanding that many veterans were left behind. RT members advocate for all of them and work to educate about the past to protect future veterans from being abandoned. Mr. Lou Ballard was instrumental in getting the chairs installed at the Wall of Honor.
American Legion Post 336 was also key to getting the chairs installed. Its mission statement includes the following: To enhance the well-being of America’s veterans, their families, our military and our communities by our devotion to mutual helpfulness. The American Legion is devoted to selfless service, patriotism and values, family and community engagement, and honoring those who came before us. Mr. Rex Buchs was the American Legion representative who spearheaded the chair installation.
These organizations, as well as liaison members Richard Brady, a Marine Vietnam veteran, and Dean Bader, Air Force veteran and owner of Digital Imaging, helped the committee achieve and even exceed its goals. Sadly, we lost both Mr. Brady and Mr. Bader within the last eight months. Without their guidance, we would have been unable to complete this project.
The RHS Veterans Committee will continue to work to support veterans in our community and to honor those who did not make it home with heartfelt gratitude for their service.
The Wall of Honor is to the west of and behind the RHS Field House.
Committee members are Jenny Cavell (RHS Class of 1995), Becky Bartholomew, Mallory Aliff, Jeff Eckles, Richard Schmidt, and Richard Frimel.
Photographs courtesy of Riverside High School.